Now SEO, when done correctly, creates a digital moat around your business and brand. But it is not a quick fix. It is an integrated and important part of the overall LONG TERM marketing strategy.
Think of it like traditional offline real estate farming techniques. Those tools and best practices take time to build up and bring you results – but we know they work. The same is true for SEO.
The bottom line is that SEO can be simple. There are basic practices that you can employ that will help grow your business.
To increase your organic search ranking, you should have strong traditional SEO best practices that include:
- Content strategy based on targeted keyword research
- Effective titles and headings
- Strong meta descriptions
- Image optimization
- An internal linking strategy
Sure, this list is somewhat simple but it’s a time-consuming process that takes time to bear fruit.
If you want to get in front of active sellers who are sourcing agents in your area, then focusing on your Google map ranking, as opposed to search ranking, is where you should spend your SEO time and energy.
Let’s take a look at how that can apply to a great source of leads, Google Business Profile.
Why Google Business Profile Matters
When people use Google search for things online we know these things to be true:
- They are nearly exclusively using Google for their search.
- They are looking for services – not brands – in their local area.
- It’s important for you to establish your hyper-local niche.
We also know that 64% of consumers use Google to find contact details for local businesses.
Before we go further, I want you to do a little exercise. Take out your phone and search online for “real estate agent near me”.
Where do you land in the search results? Are you in the top three? If you aren’t in the top three, who is?
Take note of who is in the top search results because you can learn a lot from what they are doing on their Google Business Profile.
Why are those top three positions so important?
Of those consumers searching for a “real estate agent near me”, 30-40% of them click on only the top three results.
Positions four and lower don’t even show up.
If you aren’t showing up in there, then you are missing out on that traffic.
Who is searching for real estate agents near me? People who are ready to buy or sell or do both. They are actively searching for a real estate agent, they don’t already have a deep connection to a brand in the area and it’s as warm of a cold lead as you can get.
What is Google Business Profile
Google Business Profile, formerly known as “Google My Business”, is a tool provided by Google to help businesses manage their online presence in search results, particularly in local searches and maps.
Google uses three criteria to help rank businesses in local search: relevance, distance, and prominence. Here is how each criterion works.
“Relevance refers to how well a local Business Profile matches what someone is searching for.” -Google
What does this mean? This weighs whether a business has localized content, on-site SEO basics incorporated, and if the business is listed in relevant local directories. For real estate, that can be as simple as a Yelp or Zillow listing.
“Distance considers how far each potential search result is from the locations term used in a search” -Google
What does this mean? This shows how important it is for your business address to be updated and consistent in as many places as possible online. It’s also important that your social media channels are linked together and consistently named.
“Prominence refers to how well known a business is. Prominence is also based on information that Google has about a business from across the web.” -Google
What does this mean? Here it’s important to have links from other local businesses to your website either as citations or in reviews. Show Google that you have local traffic coming to your site. For real estate agents, it can be as simple as local directories or lists of things to do in your area in your blog, make sure that each and every client is writing reviews for you on both your site and on Google.